Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, the chiropractic profession was criticized for not proving the effectiveness of its treatment through scientific research. In the 1960’s the profession responded by turning its attention to elevating entrance requirements and bolstering the doctorate programs at chiropractic colleges across the country. The result was a gradual improvement of the profession’s image and the beginning of a research base.
The strategy worked. Two decades of effort led to the publishing of a series of scientific studies in respected medical journals, bringing significant attention to chiropractic treatment. Insurance companies and employers, seeking cost-effective and safe methods of treatment to incorporate into their plan offerings, became interested in what chiropractors were offering. The Federal Government also turned its attention to the rapid pace with which alternative care was growing and, as a result, funded the AHCPR study. The panel was composed of physicians and other scientists who reviewed over a thousand studies on back pain and a variety of treatment methods. Chiropractic got high marks in the panel’s summary. The outcome of the AHCPR study has been increased interest within the scientific community in the effectiveness of spinal manipulation.
Below is a short list of the important studies that have contributed to the growth of chiropractic treatment:
1. British Medical Journal, 1990; June 2:1431-37. Meade, M.D.
2. Spine, 1991; The North American Spine Society.
3. The Rand Study, 1991 Rand Publication Series. Shekelle, M.D.
4. The Manga Report, 1993
5. British Medical Journal, 1995; 311:349-351. Meade, M.D.
6. AHCPR Guideline #14; December 8, 1994.
Other Internet Resources:
• www.cdc.gov/ncipc/ncipchm.htm National Center for Injury Prevention Control